Different Ways from a “Different” Teacher.

I had a teacher that had no idea what to do with me.

As a physically handicapped student, I have had a teacher that did not know or take the time to understand what I could or could not do.

I have had that teacher who told me, “Just be the all-time goalie for this team,” even if we were working on offensive drills. That started the “fire” at an early age to study sports and how everyone can contribute to others’ success.

Everyone has a purpose, and everyone counts. Abled or disabled. As a PE teacher, I observe skill levels ranging from 0-100 in every unit I teach. Yet every single student, no matter if they are at a skill level of 1 or a skill level of 100, I need to be able to teach them all. Each deserves to be seen at the level that they are at and to be instructed to continue their growth as learners. That is my purpose as an educator.

It is essential to have differentiated instruction in your skills development and classroom instruction. When you can identify, and cater to, the beginner level, intermediate level, and advanced level of instruction for a skill, you will be able to show students that they are part of a group, no matter their skill level. You can also show students that as they continue to grow, they will progress up the “ladder” of skills. Showing students in the class that every level of ability exists helps students realize that their skills “fit” into the “class range” every time we play.

An example of differentiated instruction in elementary PE could be kicking. In the standards of kicking a ball (locomotor movement), there are 3 levels to consider when assessing students. These levels could be identified to students of beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels of kicking. As the teacher, I tell students that no matter their ability level, they are fine and will continue practicing, getting closer to the next level, and improving daily. Level 1: Can kick a stationary ball from a stationary position. Level 2: Approach a stationary ball and move it forward. Level 3: Uses an approach to kick a moving ball toward a target.

As a student, identifying their skill level can help them set SMART goals for any skill set. As an educator, I use a “ladder” concept for my students to grow in skill one step at a time. Identifying a student’s current skill level, and knowing how they can “step up” on that ladder system, helps kids feel like they belong and can contribute to any game at any level they are at.

Elementary physical education standards state that students accept, recognize, and actively involve other peers with both high and low-level skills in games. With differentiated instruction, you can accomplish this standard easily.

This microblog post was a featured post in #slowchathealth’s #microblogmonth event. You can search for all of the featured posts here. Please do follow each of the outstanding contributors on social media (including Heather Burd, the author of this post) and consider writing a microblog post of your own to be shared with the global audience of slowchathealth.com

Pair this blog post with the following:

Meeting Them (Almost) Where They’re At by Michelle Ireland

Finding Their Swish by Judy LoBianco

How Legends Are Made by Heather Burd

Have you read the latest Book of the Month recommendation?

2 thoughts on “Different Ways from a “Different” Teacher.

  1. Pingback: Being a Champion – #slowchathealth

  2. Pingback: The PE/OT Connection – #slowchathealth

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s